So, you started a business. You’ve got a service that you’re selling. It’s high-ticket and you get customers coming in regularly. Everything is fine (for now)… What next?
Here’s a question:
If today you were to decide you want to take a break and travel for a bit.
What would you business partner say? Assuming you have one.
How would you feel?
Will something as simple as going on vacation become a big decision that impacts your company?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll need to take a look at how your business is run.
Chances are you’re working with a partner and both of you are wearing many hats.
Lead generation, sales, project management, customer satisfaction, delivery, accounting, administration, management and hiring…
You’re running all over the place, bogged down by the operations that you barely have enough time to breathe.
Sure, the hustle is admirable, and you have the results to show for it. But there comes a certain point where you need to start thinking bigger.
Yes, you’ve heard the word countless times. You need to scale.
What is Scaling? And 5 Ways To Scale Your Business
Scaling, in short, is taking what your business is doing now that is getting results, and making it bigger and better.
If I handed you a box that gave you $2 for every $1 you put in, you’d put in as much money as you could for as long as you could right?
$10 to get $20. Then take the $20 to turn it into $40…$40 into $80…
That’s basically how scaling works. However, it’s not that simple in business.
It’s not just about putting in more resources to get more, ideally you want to reduce the resources you put in, and increase the results.
Here are some ways to scale:
1. Change Service Model
For example, if you’re a personal training company, and for every trainer you hire, they can take 10 clients at one time.
To increase the hours (which equates to revenue), you need to increase the number of trainers you hire. That’s scaling, but it’s not very efficient.
Instead, if for example, you change your service model from one-to-one personal training, to a group training of 3 people at a time.
Now, your trainers can take 30 clients at one go (assuming each client pays the same price still).
That’s a 3 times increased efficiency right there.
But of course, it’s not always very ideal to do that. So another way is to…
2. Get Funding
As seen in the example above of the money making box, this is a crude way to scale.
Just throw more money at what works and reduce the spend in areas that don’t.
Where to get money? Find investors of course.
Sounds easy, but nothing lasts forever. And if you haven’t worked out the kinks in your business, throwing more money at it might prove disastrous.
How? Basically if you scale your business when you’re not ready. You’re also scaling the mistakes. And the mistakes might cost your business more than you are prepared for.
So, what’s another way to scale?
3. Systems and Automation
As a small business owner, there is a lot of time spent on doing essential tasks that don’t increase revenue.
Tasks like administration, secretarial work, compliance, IT… basically back office tasks.
They are essential to the company’s survival, yet do not contribute to the direct revenue increase of the company.
Other things like manually sending invoices, reminders to clients, and payment collection take up a lot of time.
While you can hire someone to do it for you, that costs money.
And unless you have a very, very healthy profit margin, hiring admin staff wouldn’t be the first choice.
So what’s the alternative? Are you doomed to spend late nights at the office?
Obviously there’s a better way. That better way is called automation.
There are a lot of tools now that can help you automate tasks like bookkeeping, customer relationship management, sending reminders, processing payments, etc.
The best part is, once they are set up once, they don’t really need to be managed.
Systems and automation are also key for scaling because they free up a lot of valuable time for you to focus on business development.
The less time you spend on manual back-office work, the more time you have to go out and network and form strategic alliances with other businesses that can possibly provide another revenue channel for your business.
4. Maximizing assets
If I had a dollar for every time I see a business owner leaving money on the table (metaphorically), I’d be rich…
And the thing is, that’s my plan. I help businesses identify untapped revenue channels in their business and they pay me for it.
Though, I’m still a long ways from being rich. One step at a time I guess.
So what’s one of the biggest untapped revenue channels?
One thing that every business owner needs is leads. That means the contact information of potential paying customers.
And depending on your price point, a lead can vary in cost to obtain. Business owners know that, and they’re willing to spend money to obtain the lead.
Once they get the lead, they try to sell to the lead. And then if they close the sale. Yay. If not, next lead.
But what if I told you, that lead is worth more than just the sale? That the lead that you spent $1, $14, or $50 obtaining, can potentially double or triple your revenue.
What do I mean?
Referrals, retargeting, reacquisition, and my favorite of them all, Duplication.
Referrals is pretty straightforward. You got a successful client, ask them to refer anyone they know.
Retargeting is something some business are already doing. Basically reengaging leads that didn’t buy.
You basically keep them in your list and occasionally re-engage them with content or reminders that you’re still around.
Hopefully you’ll catch them at the time that they’re ready to buy.
Reacquisition is similar, but it’s for paid customers.
Once the sale is done and the deliverables is complete, you still can keep the customer updated on future upsells, cross-sells, and even buying the same offer again (if it makes sense).
For example, if you’re running an educational training business, and you have a student pay $2,000 for your course the first time.
One year down the road, if your course is updated, you can reach out to the same student offering them to reattend the same course for $500 for updated material.
The sky’s the limit.
Now, what is Duplication?
It’s a function that is unique to digital advertising: Similar audiences on Google Ads and Lookalike Audiences on Facebook Ads.
Basically, our Google and Facebook overlords have collected a bunch of data points on everyone. Including your customers.
From those data points they can then find other people who have similar data points as those people who purchased your service.
All from just a single email.
And then when you run ads on their platform, the almighty algorithm will help you reach those people who are similar to your customers.
The bigger the list the better.
It’s an incredible innovation in digital advertising. You get to find people who are theoretically more likely to buy from you and avoid spending money marketing to those who aren’t.
The thing is, not many businesses are doing this. They get the lead and then just let it sit there. Waiting. Doing nothing.
That’s why when I come in and help them maximize the assets, I can easily get results.
Because they did all the hard work for me (obtaining the lead) and all I have to do is say “Hey, you bought from us before. Would you also like to buy this?”
5. Strategic Alliances/Joint Ventures
As a business owner, a bulk of your time should be spent looking for opportunities.
Once you built the systems to run your company, it’s time to go out and build relationships.
Either in the form of strategic alliances or joint ventures.
What’s the difference?
Strategic alliances are other non-competing businesses that have your clients.
For example, I am an interior design company and my ideal client base is young couples who just bought new homes.
So who has my clients? Real estate agents is the obvious answer.
A strategic alliance would be to simply approach and build a relationship with an agent who serves that specific market and ask them to refer businesses in return for some sort value (monetary or otherwise).
A joint venture is slightly different.
Joint ventures are mini-projects that you and other businesses start from scratch.
For example, you run a entrepreneur community on Facebook group and you know someone who runs an events company looking to do something big.
So the both of you get together an start a project: EntrepreneurCon 2020!
They take care of the logistics and you take care of the marketing. Costs and profits are split down the middle.
Win-win. Another revenue channel for your business.
That’s a joint venture.
So, these are 5 ways to scale your business. Are there any more that you have used to grow your business? Let me know.
And if you are a small business owner looking to maximize your business assets, I’d love to help. Let’s have a chat. Click here.